FURY FEST 2004 REPORT
by Panos Agoros
We arrived on Saturday morning [I havent been able to get my day off on Friday], so obviously we will not be able to report anything about Friday.
Having missed for only 30' the french unstoppable grind monster MORGUE (fuck), the very 1st band we caught was PAINT THE TOWN RED (ger) on the main stage (=MS). They played a convincing set of their old-school/rocking HXC & they're good live. The audience didnt know them but the reactions were rather positive, especially with crowdpleaser SOIA cover "Scratch The Surface" which was the occasion for some singalong. I like them better on record...
After PTTR I tried to enter the Velvet stage (=VS) where DEFDUMP were playing - a band that i really wanted to check out not only because Mantas ensured me that they rock but also because I have visited 3 times my gf @ Luxemburg this year & I was curious to find out what kind of band could hail from this lifeless technocrat city. At this moment of time I realized how hard was to enter the V.S. when it was packed & actually this was one of the rare inconveniences of the fest. Fuck, I'll see them next time...
I missed CALIBAN (ger) in Athens last December, so we made sure w/Nikos we would be there on time on the MS. Eventhough I'm not that much into the more melodic direction they took with ::Shadow Hearts::, I must admit that they're ultra-efficient live igniting some serious hard dancing action in the pit & the biggest wall of death I've seen so far (which reminded some combat scene from Lord Of The RIngs or sthing!). Andy is very good on the vocal department & has proved to be a perfect frontman for this kind of modern deathcore assault. The band has a new album in the works from which they presented a new track, more or less in the ::Shadow Hearts:: vein.
CALIBAN having convinced everybody on the MS, everybody was waiting for DYING FETUS (us) who were next. In the meanwhile I took a walk to the VS where I DEFY (hol) were playing. If you're into old-school HXC, you should probably know them by now. This isnt the kind of music that I'm listening to these days but I have a couple of their CD's, which are nice - like their live performance. They put a lot of feeling into what they're doing & apparently they were happy to perform @ the Fury Fest. Another thing they're appreciative of is they support & exposure they get from Reflections rec., who the took advantage of the occasion in order to thank them.
DF @ the MS confirmed what kind of brutalization they're capable of both live + on record. The new line-up with a fulltime vocalist works well, the audience knows the songs, is amazed & begs for more. The HXC kids are out of the pit after CALIBAN but there's some metalhead moshing especially during the more destructive blastbeats. The tracklisting was focused on the two latest albums...
WALLS OF JERICHO (us) is one of my favorite HXC bands. I have already seen 2 or 3 videos of theirs but if you havent seen them live there's no way of explaining the intensity of their stage performance . Kandace (=goddess) is a focal point & one of the most impressive singers I've ever seen, she truly amazed me... She's the perfect combination of feminity+brutality. They played both their more metallik & their old-school trax, complete with the Pennywise-like choir of :: :: (which admittedly I found corny on record). A lot of people have seen them already & the VS being packed, there was little pit action - it's a shame they didnt play on the MS...
Maybe because I didnt know exactly what to expect from them live, or because their records never did it that much for me, SKINLESS (us) impressed me on the MS. To be honnest, I liked them even more than DF! They're four, which leaves a lot of space to superenergetic frontman to move all around & take kontrol of the audience. He speaks to them in french ("merci fucking beaucoup", etc), describes the Fury Fest as "an amazing experience", dedicates the last song to Dillinger & wears an EYEHATEGOD tshirt! It's already 17:30 & the lights are cool. The crowd response surprises me a little bit - apparently SKINLESS are a bigger name in the DM circles than what I thought they were. This is what explains the fact that they're playing old-tracks from ::Foreshadowng Our Demise::, ::Progression Towards Evil::, even from the demos, additionally to material from their latest, and more diverse, effort ::From Sacrifice To Survival:: (including the titletrack) which admittedly I didnt like that much. The drummer was incredible & in the 1st place I thought it was ORIGIN skinmaster who helped them out on FSTS, but having checked their website afterwards, I verified that it was their original drummer Bob "The Big Guns" Beaulac who's back in the band.
The formidable THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN is one of the reasons I took the ride to Fury Fest. They're an outstanding experience & w/ no doubt one of the best bands who play heavy music today. After the intro, mayhem is unleashed w/the band members are going berserk. It is scandalous how well they're playing & how hysterical their stage performance is. Newcomer Greg Puciato is super both as a frontman & a singer. Actually his voice sounds better than on the "Contamination" Relapse DVD. On the new trax from "Miss Machine", as well as on the two excerpts from the "Irony Is A Dead Scene" EP w/Mike Patton are displayed the full capabilities of his voice, eventhough he performs perfectly the "Calculating Infinity" cuts ("Sugar Coated Sour", "43% Burnt", etc). Fury Fest audience has been expecting them anxiously & is conquered from the very 1st track. This is victory...
Next were THROWDOWN (us) on the VS, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE (us) on the MS & ABORTED (bel) on the VS. We need some rest though & to be honnest next is SUFFOCATION playing so we couldnt care less.
Both Nikos & myself agree that SUFFOCATION were easily the best band of the fest. Their gig was pure bliss & deathmetal extasy, more devastating -as far as I'm concerned- by Cannibal Corpse, Malevolent Creation,Deicide & Morbid Angel allrolled into one. The band was apparently ultra-happy to be back & to play in France. They dissolved all kinds of fans' concerns about their return as well as about their latest album ::Souls To Deny:: which has been modestly received by the critics.
New trax like ::Deceit:: ("this is about ex-boyfriends/girlfriends: kill them & throw them to garbage") & ::Surgery Of Impalement:: kill live & prove the value/quality of ::STD:: on the long term.
The old classics like ::Infecting The Crypts::, ::Pierced From Within::, ::Effigy Of The Forgotten:: ("Back then, we were out of hi-school, taking a lot of drugs & wanting to play the more brutal shit possible"), :::Liege Of Inveracity::, drove the audience into madness. The brutality that the band delivers is inhuman. Mike Smith's beats too. This dude's playing is amazing & one of the highlights of SUFFOCATION live. Frank Mullen was in a great shape, pretty enthusiastic, moving & moshing around. Terrance aligned solo after solo, Josh Baron was pretty solid in his playing & headbanging all the time & last but not least new addition Guy Beauvais didnt make us forget DOug Cerrito but at least filled out very well his role.
I totally ignored E TOWN CONCRETE on the VS (who cares about shit like that after SUFFOCATION?) & showed up for CHIMAIRA on MS. I'm not very familiar with them, I have some friends who liked their 1st album though. They're not bad, but their "modern" (ie.with nu-metal hints) heavy/thrash quickly sounds generic. They sound to my ears like a less good LAMB OF GOD. The crowd likes them but I quit at the middle of their set in order to be at the VS on time for MALEVOLENT CREATION (written "MALEVOLANT" in the fest's program).
Last time I saw M.C. it was with their old singer. The new one (also part of HATEPLOW) does some pretty decent job & has a good stage performance & throat. They play some trax from their new album as well as some older ones. Not bad, not bad at all. The VS is only half filled though...
FURY FEST 2004 GALLERY
by Nikos Melissourgos